Many small businesses, especially new small businesses in the door to door sales industry, run a lean operation. They focus on necessities and urgent matters, only spending money when needed. So, it’s easy to see why some business owners might think a website is a luxury item they can afford to live without.
They might even believe a Facebook page is enough for an online presence, or that a sign with their phone number will generate calls, or that a traditional mailer will help them sell products. But the truth is, the only way to start promoting a business is by building a professional website.
9 Key Reasons To Have A Business Website
Your website acts as a portal so customers can learn more about your company, as well as research product information and determine if they want to do business with you. If you’re a small business owner selling door to door, you need to realize that a website isn’t an expensive luxury or a frivolous endeavor — it’s an affordable, fundamental tool that every company needs.
#1 | Anchor For Marketing
Before you print a business card or spend a penny on advertising, you need to start marketing by building a website.
A website will act as an anchor for all of your advertising efforts. All business details, product information and promotions should live on your website first. Then, you can create marketing materials that fall in line with your domain name, which will drive customers to your website for additional information.
#2 | Sells Your Products / Service Online
Your website acts as a digital brochure, sharing up-to-date information about your offerings. A benefit of web publishing is that you can change information in real-time — no waiting or paying for new print materials.
Think of your website as a 24-hour sales staff. It provides answers to frequently asked questions and can even process sales. Websites with e-commerce and purchasing options allow users to make direct purchases online, thus simplifying sales for both your staff and your customers.
#3 | Connects You With New Customers
While you might already have an established customer base, a website is a surefire way to connect with new customers who might be unfamiliar with your business.
More often than not, people turn to the internet when they have a problem. Searching for solutions is easy — but is your business a potential problem solver? With a professional website, you position your business as a solution for your customers’ needs. Plus, you can optimize your site with search terms related to your industry. This will expose your business to new customers on the prowl.
#4 | Big Benefits For Local Businesses
One misconception about websites is that they’re only for national companies or worldwide corporations with audiences around the globe. Actually, websites are just as, if not more, beneficial for small businesses. In fact, it’s a great way to connect with locals. 70% of U.S. households now use the Internet when shopping locally for products and services.
Plus, search engines often rank results according to location. In other words, if you’re looking for “shoe stores near me,” Google won’t offer you a name-brand result in New York (unless of course you live in New York).
So it’s pretty clear — an online presence has big benefits even for door to door companies who deal locally. No matter where you are located, you can get started with an efficient website that draws in customers.
#5 | Builds Credibility
Nothing is more important than the ability to be found. If you don’t have an established online identity, then customers can’t find you. Not showing up in the search engines (or on the Internet at all for that matter) is one of the fastest ways to lose credibility as a business. It makes you and your company look dated, out of touch and untrustworthy.
Even if you’re fantastic at word-of-mouth marketing, you could be missing out on a ton of referrals. Happy customers are quick to share what they think about your business, but what about their friends who haven’t experienced your services yet? They’ll take to the Internet. And when they come up empty handed, you’ll have missed your chance for brand new customers.
#6 | Controls Your Online Destiny
If you think having a Facebook page or an online directory listing (like Yellow Pages) is enough to promote your business, you’re wrong.
When you publish through, or rely on, a third-party platform, you’re at their mercy. If the platform decides to close your account, change their policies or revise their programming, you might lose the ability to connect with your audience. Yet, when you run your own website, you’re in control of both the content you produce and the platform you maintain.
#7 | Simple & Affordable
Many small business owners rely on using third-party platforms or avoid setting up their own website because they think it’s complicated or expensive.
But building and maintaining a website is easier and cheaper than ever before. Even if you aren’t tech-savvy or creative, you can now use simple web publishing tools to build a website in a couple of hours. And the fees for hosting a website start at less than $10 per month — probably one of the cheapest marketing costs out there.
#8 | Your Voice
Have you ever been in an argument with someone and said “Well, I have written an article about that on my website, and actually, that isn’t the case.” It feels great! For some reason people don’t want to argue with you if you’ve written about something on your website.
It also gives you a place where you can voice your opinion without judgment. If someone leaves you a comment you don’t like you can just drag it over to the spam folder.
Take my advice small business owners — there are no more excuses. If you’re putting off building a website, you’re hurting your business. It’s time to get started!
#9 | Recruiting Top Talent
Last but certainly not least, don’t overlook the dramatic impact that a good website will have in your recruiting efforts. Your website is going to be the first place that any high performing sales rep will look whenever
they research your company.
When exploring the possibility of working for your company and deciding where to “take their talents,” they’re going to look for anything that can be perceived as an advantage. The better your website, the more detail they’ll be able to learn about your organization. Quality salespeople know that online traffic means more inbound leads for them to work. They understand the benefits of a company with a solid web presence as it relates to sales.
Building Your Website
It’s not the 80’s anymore; getting your company website up and running can be done fairly easily today. We’ve outlined three tiered levels of how you can get a company website built.
Option 1 | Basic – Cheap But Functional
If you recognize the need to finally have a website for your small business but this caught you off guard, we’ve got you covered. The number of build-your-own website hosts available is staggering. They all have templates that you can edit and customize to match your company’s branding. What’s even better is the templates are sorted by industry, making it easy to ensure your design matches your offer.
Option 2 | Mid-Level – More Money, Less Time
In this second tier, you’re going to spend a bit more money compared to doing it yourself. For a lot of businesses, this is most likely a welcomed expense vs trying to figure out how to do it yourself. The upside is that it will eat up less of your time by hiring a web design / development company.
You’re also almost guaranteed to see a better result. After all, this is what they do for a living right? A great place to start your search for a web designer is Upwork. This is a service that allows you to hire freelancers throughout the U.S.
Option 3 | Upper Echelon – High Price, Best Result
For the owners and companies who like to “go big or go home,” here you go. Option number three is more often than not going to be your most expensive choice, but it’s likely to be worth the investment because it will take your new site to a whole ‘notha level.
Using a marketing agency for this project will go well beyond just putting your name and logo on page. We recommend an agency like Contractor Gorilla, who specializes in building sites specifically for construction contractors.
If you’re making the decision to go the route of hiring a person or company, the most important thing to do is talk to their references. Go through and review their past work before just jumping on board.
Once you’ve found the company you want to use, establish due dates that include specific deliverables along the way, and provide these to them. Don’t just create one deliverable that’s the final site, especially if hiring a freelancer. Make sure they agree to the completion dates before moving forward.
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